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Nationals demote 1B Meneses to Triple-A amidst rough season

Joey Meneses Washington Nationals Joey Meneses - The Canadian Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nationals first baseman Joey Meneses was optioned to Triple-A Rochester on Thursday, ending a nearly two-year run in Washington's lineup for a longtime minor leaguer who had a memorable big league debut at age 30.

The 32-year-old Meneses spent 12 seasons in the minors before he was called up on Aug. 2, 2022, shortly after the Nationals traded star outfielder Juan Soto to San Diego for several prospects.

Meneses homered for his first major league hit and batted .324 with 13 homers in 222 at-bats as a 30-year-old rookie. He was Washington's regular designated hitter last season and batted .275 with 13 homers and 89 RBIs in 154 games.

But his power dipped precipitously this year. Meneses is hitting .231 and slugging .294 with three homers and 43 RBIs. Batting cleanup, he went 0 for 4 in Thursday's 1-0 win over the New York Mets.

Meneses amassed more than 5,500 professional at-bats before his debut with Washington. He has played in Japan and Mexico and represented his native Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, the Olympics and the Caribbean Series.

The Nationals also announced Thursday that outfielder Eddie Rosario became a free agent after clearing waivers. Rosario was designated for assignment on Monday.